Donald Trump

Why 'Hamilton Electors,' Who Would Make Hillary Clinton President, Are as Dead as Their Namesake

Desperate Democrats would subvert the Constitution to deny Donald Trump the Oval Office.

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Seeking Saviors in Hamilton Electors
Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/Newscom

Donald Trump's surprise election has made the Electoral College a thing again. Sad Democrats and progressives, still looking for anyone and anything to blame besides their feckless candidate and the inept, celebrity-obsessed campaign she ran, are repeating their stages of grief from 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the White House to George W. Bush. In both cases, the Dems could fixate on the Electoral College, that awful holdover from the country's slave-owning past. But despite high-profile attempts to bend the rules before the Electoral College votes on December 19, there's no way in hell that Trump is not going to be the next president. Whatever you think of either him or Clinton, that's not a bad thing. It's the way the rules are supposed to work, and for good reasons.

"Mr. Trump is unfit to serve," reads an online petition to "make Hillary Clinton president." "His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic," runs the argument, which has nearly 5 million signatures and implores "conscientious electors" to vote for Clinton regardless of how the people they represent voted.

Alas for them, a presidential election is really 51 elections (all the states, plus Washington, D.C.), in the same way the World Series consists of up to seven individual baseball contests, rather than a competition determined by which team scores the most total runs. The Electoral College, which guarantees at least three representatives to each state, affects how people vote on a state-by-state basis and voting strategies, like campaign strategies, would surely be different in a system driven purely by popular-vote totals.

Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has argued that, for all its faults, the oft-maligned system is a bulwark against the mass chaos that would ensue in the event of a razor-thin popular vote, which would require an extensive recount of scores of millions of votes in every municipality. If you thought the county-by-county mess of Florida's aborted 2000 recount was insufferable, try to imagine one on a nationwide basis. It could conceivably take years.

So when the Electoral College gathers next week, there's no reason to expect the requisite 37 Republican electors would flip to Clinton or deny Trump his needed 270 votes to clinch the presidency by voting for another Republican. But that doesn't mean such wishful fantasizing about "faithless electors" stopping Trump isn't taking place.

Harvard law professor (and nominal 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) Lawrence Lessig has offered the pro bono services of his legal firm to help the self-described "Hamilton electors," Democratic electors lobbying their Republican counterparts to not vote for Trump. These electors named themselves after the founding father and inspirer of hip-hop musicals, Alexander Hamilton, because of Hamilton's argument that the Electoral College is needed to prevent someone without the "requisite qualifications" from assuming the office of the presidency.

In an op-ed at The Washington Post, Lessig wrote:

…if the electoral college is to control who becomes our president, we should take it seriously by understanding its purpose precisely. It is not meant to deny a reasonable judgment by the people. It is meant to be a circuit breaker—just in case the people go crazy.

In this election, the people did not go crazy. The winner, by far, of the popular vote is the most qualified candidate for president in more than a generation. Like her or not, no elector could have a good-faith reason to vote against [Hillary Clinton] because of her qualifications. Choosing her is thus plainly within the bounds of a reasonable judgment by the people.

At the Post's Volokh Conspiracy legal blog, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr (a Republican who publicly supported Clinton this election) wrote that Lessig wants to have it both ways. That is, Lessig wants electors to exercise their independence to vote for the best person as long as the public didn't go crazy, but also respect the principle of "one person, one vote." Kerr writes that "he's not sure these two ideas can be coherently merged," adding:

It's true, at least as I understand it, that the original design of the electoral college was for electors to exercise their independent judgment about who would be the best president. But if that's right, it's hard to see how electors would be exercising their independent judgment by deferring to the popular vote. That's especially so because they would be deferring to the popular vote in other states that didn't even vote for them as electors.

So is all the recent squawking about the strange system which has elected every president in the history of the republic just the last, best hope of Never-Trumpism? Pretty much. Kerr told Reason via email that he believes Lessig is arguing in good faith, and recalled that Lessig had raised concerns about the electoral college well before the election. Yet "are some people acting out of expedience rather than principle?" he asks. "I assume so, but I assume so for everything election-related."

Throughout U.S. presidential history, there have been over 150 faithless electors (just nine since World War II). While 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws that punish such dissenters with fines or even jail time, not one such elector has ever been prosecuted for going his own way, including Roger MacBride in 1972, who cast the first electoral vote for a woman (Tonie Nathan was the vice-presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket led by John Hospers). Even if an Electoral College coup were to take place, every state's electoral votes have to be certified by that state's secretary of state, and that person has the authority to simply disqualify the votes or refuse to certify the totals. Either way, it holds up the votes from heading to Washington and being counted by Congress, and thus holds up the lawful election of the president.

Longtime political analyst and author of The People's Choice, a 1996 novel about faithless electors, Jeff Greenfield explained to Reason in a phone interview that despite the marked divisions within the GOP before the election, there's zero indication that the party intends to thwart Trump now that he's president-elect. Greenfield noted that in 2004, John Kerry would have been elected president if just 60,000 voters in Ohio had cast their ballot for him and not Bush. Yet with Bush earning 3 million more total votes nationally, Greenfield says a Kerry win in the Electoral College might have led to a bipartisan push to ditch the system.

"If you had back-to-back elections where both parties lost [despite winning the popular vote], you might have had a bigger brouhaha," he says. But today's GOP is happy with November's outcome despite whatever misgivings the party might have about Trump. "Right now the way Republicans look at it is, 'If there's a split, we're the beneficiaries.'"

Getting rid of the Electoral College would require changing the Constitution, which isn't going to happen for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that smaller states have absolutely no incentive to give up the influence afforded to them by the current system. However, a number of states are trying to find a legal workaround to the Electoral College, most notably with the National Popular Vote interstate compact.

Ten states and D.C.— all of them deep "blue" and liberal—have adopted legislation that would become binding if enough states to equal 270 electoral college votes join them to award their state's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, even if their own state was won by a different candidate.

The 11 jurisdictions in question (California, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington) are currently responsible for 165 electoral votes. That's nothing to sneeze at, but it's a long way to 270.

The way the current system is constructed, it's difficult to imagine a number of highly populated swing states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania handing over their considerable clout for the sake of the "principle" of the popular vote. And there's nothing to offer the smaller states who would almost certainly be ignored entirely in a popular vote scenario.

Though the Electoral College has been benefiting Republicans of late, the largely forgotten 2004 result shows how easily that narrative could be flipped. Regardless, the liberal passion project named for Alexander Hamilton seems about as cold as the man himself after feuding with Aaron Burr.

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292 responses to “Why 'Hamilton Electors,' Who Would Make Hillary Clinton President, Are as Dead as Their Namesake

  1. The next four years are going to be so much fun. Isn’t it great !?

    1. Great again!

      1. This guy gets it.

    2. Oh come on, guys, no one made a Hamiltonian joke?
      Such as, Hamiltonian electors are gaining a lot of momentum, which makes much harder to pin down their position on electing Trump?

      1. Finding a solution to these Hamiltonian cycles is proving to be hard.

        1. Graph theory class flashback. Traveling salesmen anyone?

  2. I invite you to partake from the bottomless cornucopia of Derp that is this Law Professor’s Time Magazine Editorial, arguing that electors should reject the will of the people em masse and take up their responsibility as enlightened beings to mend the errors of popular will.

      1. No TOP WYMENZ?

    1. working link

      Also, funny that the good professor doesn’t seem to realize that the only qualification for members of the Electoral College is “political hack.”

      1. “political hack.”

        “How Nancy Pelosi’s daughter and Dianne Feinstein’s granddaughter became part of the electoral college”
        http://www.latimes.com/politic…..story.html

    2. “…electors should reject the will of the people em masse and take up their responsibility as enlightened beings to mend the errors of popular will.”

      From those who, out of the other side of their mouths, claim that the hag is really the Prez, ’cause popular vote!

    3. Next week, the Electoral College will meet. One question in the air is whether the electors should simply cast their votes for whichever candidate “won” their state, or whether they should exercise independent judgment.

      I like that won is in scare-quotes.

      1. And he does it a second time! But he never does it when saying that Clinton won the popular vote.

      2. Let’s step it up:

        One question in the air is whether the “electors” should simply cast their “votes” for whichever “candidate” “won” their “state”, or whether “they” should exercise independent “judgment”.

        1. Geoffrey R. “Stone” is a law “professor” whose “scholarship” is an “embarrassment” to my alma mater.

    4. It’s like we need some kinda of delegate to protect us from people making choices.
      Wait, better we need a superdelegate !

      1. We need superdelegates to protect us from the bad judgment of regular delegates.

  3. All this hoopla based on a….tantrum.

    As usual, faulty premises is what the left excels at.

    1. The root cause is the complete insanity of the Left.

      The mistake that conservatives and libertarians make is assuming people on the left are sane. We speak to them as if logic, reason, facts, and real world examples mean anything to them. You would have better luck explaining relativity to your dog.

      They are insane and should be treated that way.

      1. https://youtu.be/RaFAnSKHNgs

        Shapiro basically nails it here. You don’t fight the left with facts and reason, you fight them with feels and good vs. evil.

    2. Which looter left? Republican National or Democratic International Socialists?

  4. Desperate Democrats would subvert the Constitution

    Where’s the new news?

    1. Its probably very, very similar to the old news.

  5. I have a fair bit of respect for Lessig, but when he tries to tell me that Hillary’s qualified for this job, he’s either delusional or lying through his teeth.

    -jcr

    1. It is very hard to believe that he’s arguing in good faith. He is as Kerr says trying to have it both ways. The claim that the electoral college was intended to support the national popular vote winner is utterly baseless, especially considering that there wasn’t even a popular vote in some states in the first few elections.

      1. Sure Lessig is arguing in good faith. I am ABSOLUTELY certain that he would be saying EXACTLY the same thing if Trump had won the popular vote and Clinton had won the electoral vote. Right, Professor?

      2. Moreover, the election that actually happened was not based on national popular vote. Everyone knew this ahead of time and acted accordingly. To switch to national popular vote after the votes have been counted would be to change the rules mid-game. If they want to use national popular vote, then they have to hold another election. If you change the methodology, you change the ways people act and thus potentially the outcome.

        For example, a bunch of people in “solid red/blue” states would start to show up, if only to vote for President, because their votes now matter.

        1. The world series analogy works for most people. You have to win 4 games. You can’t claim your team actually won because they scored more total runs in the series.

          1. And afterwards, review every pitch in the top-half of the innings in the games you lost for errant strike .

    2. Lessig, like many Democrats and their supporters, is claiming not just that Hillary is qualified but that she is the most qualified of all candidates for the past generation or, according to some, the most qualified ever. I guess if one is going to lie, then lie big.

      1. Not to mention that I didn’t see much crying on the left over Obama’s lack of qualifications in 2008.

        1. A middle aged man still pointing to his college accomplishments (editor of the law review). Nothing pathetic and sad about that.

        2. (D) is the only qualification.

          1. He had one qualification that she didn’t…

      2. Yeah. I wonder how they decide that Mrs. Clinton is more qualified that either of the top two competitors, both who had extensive executive experience (one in government, one in business). Adding in her brazen lawlessness, she was the least qualified of the top three candidates to be President.

    3. Lessig was pushing the “Money buys elections” meme up until a few months ago.

      Given how wrong he was about that, why would I trust his advice now?

  6. Every state with 3 EVs is either solid red or solid blue, so they’re ignored anyway. The smallest number of EVs for a swing state is NH with 4.

  7. Needz moar disclaimers about how loathesome Trump is.

    Seriously, this is good work. This is the kind of research and analysis Reason needs to do more of. Fewer hot Twitter takes, less recycling of MSM memes and narratives, less uncriticial acceptance of the assumptions of statists, and I might even donate next year.

    1. ^This, this, this.

      Nothing wrong with the occasional clickbait MSM crap, but Reason is at its best when an author takes the time to research and write about a specific issue. (And by research, I mean more than just reading what the NYT and WaPo have to say about it)

    2. I didn’t donate this year either and I agree. It’s been pretty dismaying to see the shift in Reason as of late, especially when it was a publication that I once read pretty much every article from.

      1. Did not donate this year myself.

  8. “Desperate Democrats would subvert the Constitution to deny Donald Trump the Oval Office.”

    Democrats would not give a second thought to any means which achieve ends they desire. Of course to them the downsides of subverting principle are never as bad as the horrors which would befall the country from whichever republican candidate is “literally Hitler” this time.

    1. I get so frigging tired of the Republican = Hitler” argument. It is obviously untrue, or all the idiots who used it in the last two decades would be conspicuously missing.

      1. I love it, because it’s usually coming from the same people who believe that the 2A exists to establish the National Guard and protect deer rifles, and not as a bulwark against an oppressive regime. And then I can reply with, “So, you genuinely believe that Trump is the second coming of Adolf Hitler and is going to turn the US into a fascist police state supported by the alt-right, but you also think that people who believe the Constitution protects their right to arm themselves against the government are dangerous paranoiacs? How does that work again?”

        1. HURR DURR, YOURE RACIST.

          1. yup, that prettymuch captures the typical response

        2. If only they knew what fascism actually means, they’d stop treating it like a curse word because it more closely describes their own Team.

        3. I just realized that, once the Trump of Doom is inaugurated, there will be an incredible increase in gun sales to all the Last Ditch Democrats preparing to defend themselves against him. My god, they might double, even triple the NRA’s membership!

  9. This is the most ridiculous turnabout I’ve seen from democrats in a long time.

    Usually, these are people who hold the constitution in contempt, as well as the founding fathers, and treat any attempt at constitutional originalism as dog whistle racism, since (some of) the founding fathers owned slaves.

    These are people who think the intention of the Second Amendment will forever remain shrouded in mystery, so it must mean “National Guard”.

    Next thing you know, they’re experts on The Federalist Papers and citing Alexander Hamilton as if he’s some sort of authority on how the government should work.

    And let me guess: once we’re done praising Hamilton’s ideas of the EC, we’ll go back to bashing the institution and trying to get rid of it all together, starting Dec 20th?

    My my. How convenient.

    1. Democrats would cream their collective pants to have the president elected by national popular vote.

      The electoral college makes it pointless for corrupt urban Democrat election officials in blue states to stuff the ballot box for president. The only place where they can have an effect is in swing states, where there is likely to be more GOP supervision from the state govt.

      1. The electoral college makes it pointless for corrupt urban Democrat election officials in blue states to stuff the ballot box for president.

        Not that that stops them. Cough Cough Pihlidelphia cough cough.

        1. Though admittedly Pennsylvania is a swing state, albeit a Democrat leaning one.

          1. The mistake the Dems in Philly made this year was turning in their votes BEFORE they knew how many that they had to beat from the hinterlands. Mayor Daley would not have made this mistake…

        2. PA is only blue because of the massive corruption in Philadelphia.
          The ballot stuffing has been honed to a fine art in Philly.
          This is why the recount was thrown out by the Federal judge. The Dems darn well knew what would turn up and that the recount would not be helping them one tiny bit.

          Case and point is Detroit. It’s amazing how the MSM is ignoring the massive ballot stuffing fraud that has been uncovered during the recount

        3. Actually they stuff the ballot boxes to win their “blue” states. Look at Michigan and Wisconsin, where they stuffed the boxes in Detroit and Milwaukee – and still lost. Makes you wonder about states where they do win.

      2. The electoral college makes it pointless for corrupt urban Democrat election officials in blue states to stuff the ballot box for president.

        If the presidential race were the only one on the ballot then that would be correct provided the state was true blue and did not split its electoral votes. However, it would be worthwhile to stuff the ballot box for other offices so why not also up the tally in the presidential race just to be safe. Also, it might look suspicious if a large number of ballots didn’t contain a vote in the presidential race.

        1. True, but my point is that there is no advantage for the Dem presidential candidate if they do it.

        2. The real payoff of electoral fraud is in local elections. It’s easier to coordinate a smaller number of people who are already in your pocket, and there’s less oversight and attention from the media and interested parties.

          That doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t affect national elections, but that’s more of a side-effect rather than the most directly intended outcome.

    2. It makes sense. They saw an overpriced play that was ‘hip’ and ‘cool’, so suddenly they’re constitutional law experts. I remember when the John Adams miniseries came out on HBO, all the students in my graduate school were suddenly praising John Adams and damning Hamilton (who was portrayed as a villain in the miniseries) and now that a new pop culture medium has shown Hamilton to be ‘hip’, because of ‘feelz’ they love him. Just disregard Hamilton’s strident support for the Alien and Seditions Act and his flirtations with executive dictatorship.

      1. The funniest part is that Hamilton was probably (he never wrote this down, but due to his views I think it a strong possibility) one of the people who caused the idea of King George Washington to occur to Washington’s officer corp.

      2. Just disregard Hamilton’s strident support for the Alien and Seditions Act and his flirtations with executive dictatorship.

        Not to mention his support for the 1790 Immigration Act that limited immigrants to white people only. That appears to have been conspicuously ignored in Miranda’s little white liberal minstrel show.

        1. Citizenship technically, not immigration.

      3. Another weird thing is that, after all the assaults on the Alien and Sedition act by Jefferson and the Democratic Republicans, there was a man arrested for libel because he published an unsigned piece by a contributor that impugned the character of Thomas Jefferson. It wasn’t even legal to prosecute him since the Sedition Act of 1798 had expired, but when the door is open, it’s hard to close things.

    3. This is the most ridiculous turnabout I’ve seen from democrats in a long time

      Its only the most ridiculous one *this week*

    4. Look Brian, all of them saw the Musical and know Hamilton was black and a first class rapper. So of course he is on their side.

      1. It would be hilarious to show them a ten dollar bill and ask them if they know who that guy is.

        1. They would have no clue. The guy on the ten is just another racist dead white guy. They all are convinced Hamilton was black and looked Denziel Washington. They will believe anything that fits their narrative.

          1. The same people who believed Mitt Romney was the commander-in-chief of the War On Women voted for Bill Clinton twice, and Ted Kennedy multiple times.

            1. “War On Women”

              Was mercifully spared that insepid lie this round. Heard that BS from Lizzie Warren supporters who couldn’t come up with a better argument for their awful candidate than, “if you don’t vote for her, you’re a rapist” ’til my ears bled. Guess they spent that nickel.

            2. The Dems do seem to have more than their share of sleazy womanizers. Although rape and let’s call it negligent homicide are beyond sleazy. To be fair.

              1. In muted defense of the Democrats, it may be that sleazy womanizing is just another thing Republican politicians are incompetent at.

        2. Should ask them what they think about the guy on the 20,and how the Republicans feel about the new replacement.

          1. I’ve always thought it was historically bizarre to have Jackson on the currency given his policies toward central banking.

            1. I think that was the point.

      2. I don’t get their love of the Hamilton musical at all.

        These are people who talk about the founding fathers as slave holding white males who are villains of history, because they wrote a document limiting the government.

        Next thing you know, all the cosmos love Hamilton.

        Why?

        Because the musical made some clever argument that resolved the whole “white slave-owning males” issue with the founding fathers?

        No. The musical ignored slavery altogether. But, by having a black cast and singing hip-hop, they “reclaim” history. That’s the word they keep using: “reclaim.”

        So, what? They culturally appropriated white male slave-owners? Ooooookkkkkkkkk.

        If you ask me what it means, here’s what it says to me:
        Lefty progressives realized that, with the institution of the US government, they have two routes to go:
        1. It’s a vehicle of oppression
        2. It’s the authority we want

        So, in the end, the dilemma resolves itself: forget oppression, forget victimhood, embrace statism, embrace authority.

        So we have black people, dressed as founding fathers, singing hop-hop, pretending slavery never happened, and how, conveniently we love Hamilton. We love the founders. We love the institution that is government.

        How brave and noble. And oh so hip.

        1. It’s comical that at this stage of history there are people who think it’s so transgressive, so hip, so clever, so out there to have a play where Jefferson is played by a black man. Really ? That’s the level of your creativity ? What next, you gonna display a urinal labeled Fountain ?

        2. They call out slavery a few times. Because Hamilton was against slavery, while his rival Jefferson was a slave-owner.

          1. Who was also against slavery.

          2. Yeah, but they don’t really treat it the way I would expect all these hipsters to like.

            Just a few mentions?

            For the defining evilness of the USA, going back to the founders?

            And they just briefly treat it with a few lines? Never mentioning that Hamilton married a slave owner?

            It’s like a check mark in a box.

            Frankly, I think if the musical was kept just as it is, except cast white people, they’d hate it.

            It’s almost as if all the sins of the USA are washed away with casting decisions and musical genre selection.

            Wait a minute.

            All the sins of the USA washed away by modern hiring decisions and a nod to hip-hop…

            I think I’m starting to see why this musical is so popular.

            1. Free at last, oh, free at last!

        3. I would be fine with everyone in America thinking the Founding Fathers were black, if they also believed in the principles of limited government that the Constitution was supposed to promote.

    5. Red reset button – Hillary Clinton’s gift to Sergei Lavrov 2009
      “Let me get reelected first. Then I’ll have a better chance of making something happen. After my election, I have more flexibility”, Obama to Medvedev 2012
      “The 1980’s called and they want their foreign policy back”, Obama to Romney, 2012

    6. The 1972 Libertarian Party spoiler vote caused the court to act to protect the hand that fed it from the stupidity and overreaching of GO-Pee politicians. This law-changing power of spoiler votes makes it imperative that honest and conscientious electors cast their ballots for Gary Johnson. Nothing would better thwart mystical infiltrator efforts to hack the 14th Amendment and turn women back into milch cows for producing cannon fodder. Women under Latin American juntas and murderous Middle East mosques are looking to America for another courageous example. Hillary’s prohibitionists lost, but Democrats can still snatch victory from defeat by casting a couple of votes for the libertarians Congress pays the media to ignore.

    7. They think they are being oh-so-clever in using our own argument against us. As they see it, how can a Conservative disagree when they are quoting one of the founding fathers? And better still, they’re citing original intent! It’s a slam dunk! Except their argument is not as sound as they think.

      Hamilton proposed that Electors vote for President in lieu of holding a general election. States would select those men “most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” That part doesn’t suit the Hamilton Elector’s purposes, so it is never quoted.

      Hamilton Electors talk as if we had a cobbled together hybrid of what Hamilton proposed and what we actually have. Electors are assigned the task of voting for their party’s winner in their state’s general election, unless they really, REALLY don’t like the winner. In this case 538 political hacks get to tell the rest of us that, had the State determined, rather than holding a general election, to select men with sufficient intelligence, discernment and integrity as to entrust them with the selection of our next President, surely the State would have chosen *them.* From this they jump to the conclusion that they have been entrusted by the voters in their state to override the election results and pick the man of their choosing.

  10. The true believer Dems will come up with these schemes, yes, but the leadership is just planning to use the Russia/Electoral College/FBI narratives to justify their “obstructionism” for the next 4 years, which would otherwise be hard to do after 8 years of railing against the Republicans for it.

    1. I think you’re onto something here.

      1. That’s it entirely. Aside from milking their followers for fundraising, that is.

        1. It is about distracting the followers from asking questions why the party has screwed up so badly.

      2. Get used to “….but Obama was elected by the popular vote twice, not the FBI and Putin!” whenever you point out Dem hypocrisy on “obstructionism”. You’re going to be hearing some variant of that for four years, maybe longer.

    2. They don’t need a justification. True believers will believe.
      I’ve already seen some of the same people who were ranting two years ago about minority obstructionism in the Senate, now praising the 60 vote cloture rule as their last best hope to prevent the apocalypse.

      1. Yep — just like Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, Senator Reid, and Senator Schumer did in 2005 when the GOP senate leadership was considering “the nuclear option” of removing the filibuster for judicial nominees. An option that was instituted 9 years later by Reid.

    3. The 2012 election called and they want their foreign policy debate back

    4. I look forward to the obstructionism though. The less government “gets done” the better.

      1. Most of what the federal govt “gets done” is on autopilot. Rolling it back requires getting past all the obstacles that were put in place to gum up the works.

        It’s like in Nightmare on Elm Street, when the mother has bars installed on all the windows in the house to keep prowlers out. Freddie gets in anyway, and the bars serve only to keep her daughter from escaping.

    5. Hard to be obstructionist after you drop the need for a super majority, and then proceed to lose your majority! Give them 15 minutes to babble on the Senate floor, then take the vote.
      Next item on the agenda?

      1. That’s the thing: they’ll say their filibuster is different, because they’re patriotically opposing an illegitimate Manchurian Muscovian Candidate who stole the presidency, unlike the GOP which obstructed the people’s choice for president.

    6. Far better for the China Syndrome Global Warming puppets manipulating Dems to understand that:
      1. Their Gaian Econazi Religion hit the propeller of ordinary physics, and
      2. They would have been bloodied a lot worse had Libertarian spoiler votes not held some doors open for them.
      By tar-and-feathering the prohibitionists on their platform committee and chucking the commie warmer religion into a handy volcano, the Dems could again have a viable party IF they have the sense to cut their losses and cast some electoral votes for Gary. If a single non-fascist GOP elector were to do the same, the course of American history could be re-channelled toward freedom in a week. This is the greatest opportunity since the Liberal Party donated its wet plank to the Dems in the 1932 election campaign.

  11. The point of allowing the electors to vote as their states instruct including not for the winning candidate in some circumstances was to ensure that the election was ultimately an election of the states and not a direct Democracy. It is a bit rich for the same people who are claiming Hillary really won because she won the popular vote to now argue that the electors should vote for someone other than who they are committed. Second, the point of even allowing the possibility of electors changing their vote was to have some fail safe in case the winner of the election somehow becomes unable to serve in the time between the election and when the electoral college votes; for example if the winning candidate dies or is indicted for a serious crime, that kind of thing. It was never supposed to be a fail safe against the public electing “the wrong person”. The framers were far too smart to endorse that kind of ass clownery. They certainly didn’t embrace pure Democracy but they didn’t embrace telling the public to go fuck itself either.

    1. Exactly. And we can be sure the Dems would still be calling for electors to change their choice had Hillary won the electoral college and then an e-mail came out showing some treasonous behavior on her part!

  12. The hilarious thing about the argument for enlightened elitism being made today is the fact that electors are loyalists chosen for a purely ceremonial honor in recognition of their devotion to the party. As such, we end up with people like Christine Pelosi, a 93 year old woman from New York, and a 19 year old girl from Washington state as electors.

    Does anyone want to seriously pretend these are the kinds of people Hamilton was talking about in 1787?

    1. No they are not. And there is no way Hamilton was talking about overturning an election that didn’t go the way the elite wanted like this one. One of the more delicious ironies of this is that the only two circumstances I could ever imagine this occurring involve Democrats. What if the birthers had been correct and on December 1st 2008 it was revealed that Obama really was ineligible to serve. That would be a circumstance where the electors are supposed to break their oath and vote for someone else. Another circumstance would be I think if the winning candidate were indicted for a serious felony after the election, you know like Hillary could have been.

      I don’t think people like this guy would have liked either of those two possibilities very much.

    2. Excuse me but are we talking about Alexander Hamilton? The protective tariff pusher who confidently predicted in Federalist #78 that the judiciary would protect the people of These States from excesses? The idiot whose prediction was tested in Herbert Hoover’s Republican Administration, when feds, T-men, customs and narcs competed with hillbilly cops in Oklanhoma to see who could shoot the most kids and brown people in the back over beer? Federal Judge William Clark of NY smacked down the Prohibition Amendment only to be overruled by the Republican-packed Suprema Corte. What this country needs is some non-christianofascist electors to cast libertarian votes for freedom, and maybe a statue memorializing Aaron Burr somewhere near the Jefferson Memorial.

  13. And the fact that Kerr was a Hillary supporter in this election is something that should forever be mentioned every time his name is mentioned. It is one thing to vote third party or not vote at all. It is quite another to actively and openly support Hillary Clinton. Doing that is something that someone like Kerr should never be allowed to live down.

  14. Ten states and D.C.? all of them deep “blue” and liberal?have adopted legislation that would become binding if enough states to equal 270 electoral college votes join them to award their state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, even if their own state was won by a different candidate.

    I’d like to see how binding this agreement would be when abiding by it would cause a blue state to flip the election to the Republican candidate. Not going to happen.

    1. That doesn’t even make any sense. It would only work if those states electors were supposed to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote. Otherwise, it wouldn’t change anything. Moreover, if the electors ignore the law and vote for the candidate that they are pledged to support, what are the states going to do about it? Throw them in jail? Good luck with that.

      1. I thinks it’s about changing which candidates’ electors are chosen (based on national popular vote rather than state or district results) rather than forcing electors to go against their pledged candidate.

        1. I don’t think that would be Constitutional. It would be like Connecticut saying that its electors would be chosen by the results in New York. The Constitution guarantees a Republican form of government to every state. Saying that a state’s vote in the Presidential election is determined by anything other than some form of popular vote or vote of the legislature would be counter to that.

          They could allocate the electors by district or even I think let the state legislature vote for the electors but I do not think you could make the electors the product of the national vote.

          1. The constitution gives state legislatures complete leeway in determining the method by which electors are chosen.

            The electors are not part of the state government, so the form of government clause doesn’t apply.

            1. No it doesn’t. It gives them complete leeway within the limits of Republican government. You could say “the legislature picks whomever they want”. Because they are elected, that would be okay. But this is saying the results are determined by votes in other states. That is not consistent with a Republican form of government. It would never survive in the courts.

              1. So you’re agreeing that the legislature can appoint electors based on any reason they want, but then saying they can’t appoint electors based on the national popular vote?

                As far as I know, the Form of Government clause has never been successfully applied in a court case. Supposedly it justifies federal anti-corruption laws being used against state officials, but that’s it.

                1. So you’re agreeing that the legislature can appoint electors based on any reason they want, but then saying they can’t appoint electors based on the national popular vote?

                  If the law said they could appoint the electors, yes they could because they could do so for any reason, assuming the law didn’t specify how they had to vote. But saying that “the legislature decides” is not the same as saying “whoever wins the popular vote gets the electors”. I don’t know how to make that any more clear.

                  1. The law says whatever the legislature wants it to. That’s why it’s called a legislature.

      2. It doesn’t affect the pledging of electors at all. You, the voter, choose pledged electors at primary time just like now. But the determination of which slate of pledged electors actually gets appointed to the college is based not upon the state’s popular vote but instead the nation’s. It doesn’t really change anything except at the very last stage.

        It’s not in the slightest bit unconstitutional, but it is very, very stupid and I doubt that a) enough states comprising at least 270 electoral votes will adopt equivalent laws such that the trigger clauses are met, and b) even if that happens, I give it at most 2 elections before some of those states throw it out. The popular uprising after e.g. deep blue MD casts its electoral votes for the Republican who won the national popular vote would be epic.

        1. It is completely unconstitutional. Every state has to have a Republican form of government. That means its government and by implication how it votes for the federal government had to be decided in a Republican manner. Having a decision be government by the results of votes in other states is not a Republican form of government.

          How is this any different than a state deciding that its governor will not be determined by popular vote but instead always be the party of the sitting president? The states have absolute control over how their governors are elected just like have control over how their electors are selected. By your logic, they should be able to choose their governor based on the results of the Presidential election just like they are choosing their electors based on the results of the overall popular vote.

          The answer is no on both accounts. This is completely unconstitutional.

          1. The states do not elect the President. The states appoint electors who elect the President. If you are going to appeal to the Constitution, at least understand it. There is no analogy with governors or really any other elected office in the country because no other office is chosen this way.

            This is no way subverts republicanism. The popularly elected state legislature appoints the electors. It is no different from any other legislative appointment. They have complete discretion in determining who gets appointed. If the people of the state are dissatisfied with their legislature’s choices, then they can replace their legislators with new ones. That is republicanism in action.

            1. Yes the states appoint the electors. And like everything the state governments do, it has to be consistent with a Republican form of government. A state ceding its sovereignty to other states, which is what this is, is not Republican government. It is really that simple. Again, why couldn’t a state decide to elect its government entirely based upon the votes of other states?

              1. There is no cession of sovereignty. The state remains free to change how its electors are appointed. The bill lasts only until another one is passed to amend/repeal it. Nor does this have anything to do with republicanism. The tripartite division of state government, the popular election of state legislators, checks and balances between the branches, etc. are not in question.

                1. There is no cession of sovereignty.

                  Yes there is.

                  For example, regardless of how unlikely let’s say UT citizens vote 74% in favor of one candidate, but the other candidate won the national popular vote (if you think unlikely, see: Romney v Obama).

                  If in this example, UT electors are bound to national vote, they effectively will have ignored the will of its citizens in favor of the will of citizens from other states.

                  On an international level, this would be equivalent to one country legislating that they must follow the will of some other country.

                  Depending upon the form of government for that country, maybe that’s legal, but doing this in the US would be unConstitutional.

        2. The only unintelligent part is misunderstanding how spoiler votes leverage changes in the law and jurisprudence that interprets or smacks down said law. The Dems’ commie backers sold them on econazi Green policies by pointing to the Y2k spoiler votes that smacked their hand out of the till and instead saddled us with faith-based prohibitionist Crusaders for Jesus and terrorist reprisals in NY and Washington. But this is now, and Green Gaia ‘s data counterfeiting ring cannot hide the fact that NO GLOBAL WARMING has taken place since that election. Jailing hippies for weed and crippling energy production were suicidally stupid moves for which the Dems would be justified in lynching their platform comittee. But at this late stage the best the Dems can do is pay the LP back for many of the jobs they now hold by refunding us some tax-financed anti-libertarian subsidies in the form of Jeffersonian electoral votes for Gary. Hamilton, his tax-and-spend Federalists and their disgusting Whig and GO-Pee spawn be damned to face Second Amendment Libertarians with pistols at dawn on the field of honor by honest electors like Roger MacBride!

    2. I’d like to see how binding it would be after the democrats successfully sue states for laws imposing faithfulness on its electors.

    3. Those laws are pure signalling.

      There’s no way the agreement would ever become binding, because getting to 270 would require red states and/or swing states to join the compact. Also, interstate compacts have to be approved by Congress.

      1. That is the clause i think would get this in trouble but never see any one mention. Without congessional approval this could be seen as unconstitutional.

    4. The agreement is blatantly unconstitutional under Art1 Sec10 – No State shall, without the Consent of Congress… enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State. Which means both the House and Senate would have to agree on that legislation – and only THEN could the states join the resulting compact. And you can bet that that won’t happen since it would then be challenged as a direct constitutional amendment by subterfuge.

      That said the interstate compact clause is exactly what should be used as the way of transferring all current ‘extra’-constitutional fed functions to a different system. eg – there used to be a (legitimate) interstate compact for education issues until the feds killed it off and pulled it into the executive branch and took it over. Once it became federal, then it also had the ability to mandate, to subsidize, and to grow like kudzu.

      1. Not so fast! Rather than repeal prohibition the looters in 1933 forced through a Hamiltonian Federalist version of the same thing. The 21st AMendment is an option to run crying to Mommy in Washington if the neighboring states refuse to enter into a compact to coerce their own citizens to pander to the mystical prohibitionism of states infested with dry politicians. The consent is already there–at least for the dispatching of men with guns to murder their neighbors and destroy freedom.

    5. I’d like to see how/whether it would work at all! For example:
      A solid Red state casts the overwhelming majority of its votes for the Republican ticket. The majority of the national popular vote is for the Democrats. The life-long Republican governor (who is also the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate) says, “Sorry, folks, but I’m going to ignore every damn one of our heartfelt opinions (and even the normal electoral college vote, if that would go Republican) and cast the proud votes of our Great State for the lousy son-of-a-bitch whom we’ve been cursing for the past six months as the sure death of our nation.”
      Questions:
      1. Would he live long enough to be impeached, removed, thrown out of the Republican Party, and forced to move to Canada under an assumed name? Explain how the phrase “clinging to their guns and their religion” affected your answer.
      2. A. How long would it take to resolve the 684 ensuing lawsuits and finally (if ever) determine the winner?
      B. What if five states in five different Federal Judicial Districts did so?

  15. …that awful holdover from the country’s slave-owning past.

    Oh, yes. Heaven forbid candidates spend any attention to flyover country. Let theM focus solely on urban centers and the coasts. COSMO ALERT.

    1. You know what else is a holdover from this countries slave owning past?

  16. For the lunatic fringe’s take on this issue:

    It would be great but here’s my concern. The safety of the electors.

    If the head of the FBI was willing to facilitate a coup what makes you think he wouldn’t use trumped up charges to threaten the electors with prison?

    1. Meanwhile, several electors from Michigan have reported getting death threats if they didn’t switch their vote to Hillary. That of course is just fine.

      1. The premise is nuts.

        If the head of the FBI was willing to facilitate a coup

        They honestly believe that the Russkies are in charge of the FBI and working to make Trump dictator. That’s crazy on a whole ‘nother level.

        1. And remember, when Comey didn’t indict Hillary in July, he was America’s foremost patriot. In September when the FBI assured everyone that Hillary’s email server had not been hacked by foreign intelligence services anyone who suggested the Russians hacked it was a paranoid conspiracy nut.

          Today, not only did the Russians hack her email, their doing so amounted to throwing the election to Trump and anyone who says otherwise is committing treason and probably on Putin’s payroll. They are truly barking mad.

        2. But can you PROVE they aren’t??!!?? /Tony

      2. Anybody involved in something controversial who claims to have gotten death threats, and hasn’t reported them to the police and/or FBI, is probably full of shit and just trying to paint the other side in a bad light.

        1. They did.

          http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/30/…..ats-cnntv/

          “In the state of Michigan we have laws that prevent faithless electors. So, essentially what happens, if I tried to vote for somebody else, which, let me be clear, I don’t want to, but if I tried to, I would be removed and replaced by another elector. It’s a pointless endeavor,” he said.
          Banerian told Keilar he had filed a police report.
          “I just had a very nice meeting with my local police department,” he said

          Why do you assume they didn’t? Because you don’t want it to be true?

          1. Because usually people who claim “death threats” don’t file police reports.

            1. This guy did. So, I think it is legit.

              1. Yes, although I love these weasel words at the end of that story:

                “CNN has not spoken with the police department or verified any threats against Banerian.”

                1. that is pretty rich. Why didn’t CNN talk to the police? Did the police not take their calls? It is almost as if CNN didn’t want to verify the guy’s story or something.

      3. “Meanwhile, several electors from Michigan have reported getting death threats if they didn’t switch their vote to Hillary. That of course is just fine.”

        We were told that there would be an epidemic of violence if Trump got elected!

        1. They also told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we’d be at war in Viet Nam within a year

    2. Holy shit! Harvard professor says GOP electors are close to blocking Trump win
      Harvard University law professor Larry Lessig said Tuesday that 20 Republican Electoral College voters are considering flipping to vote against Donald Trump, more than half the number of anti-Trump votes needed to stall the president-elect from being sworn into office.

      As James Mattis would say… “… AND THEN WHAT?”

      If the electoral college fails to produce a majority for either candidate, the issue then falls to congress.

      A majority republican congress.

      And what do you think *they’ll* do? Suddenly decide they’d prefer Hillary?

      Do the DU people even bother to read the manual of the government they’re always trying to overthrow?

      1. No. They threw it onto the bonfire of their stupidity along with everything else that doesn’t conform to their worldview of the moment.

      2. If the faithless electors vote for a third candidate (e.g. John Kasich), then the House would have the option of voting for that person instead of Hillary and Trump.

        Also, the Dems would like to force House Republicans to actually vote for Trump with the 2018 elections in view.

        1. The end result is the same. You think electors are going to be convinced to undermine the rule of law for some symbolic gesture “Dems would like”?

          Its so stupid it hurts.

        2. The Republicans in the House of Representatives are not going to pick anyone other than Trump, even if someone else is technically available for them to pick, because they are going to be up for re-election in 2 years and don’t want to be primaried out of their jobs.

          1. they are going to be up for re-election in 2 years and don’t want to be primaried out of their jobs.

            This. The progs still haven’t learned their lesson. Despite a slight imbalance in the national popular vote toward Hilldawg, there are still tens of millions of people who voted for Trump and would be pissed if their local representative were to undermine their vote. By pissed, I mean like shooting war pissed.

          2. because they are going to be up for re-election in 2 years and don’t want to be primaried out of their jobs.

            1. There are a lot of states that Trump did not win the GOP primary in, some of which have majority Republican House delegations. Utah comes to mind. Those states’ Republicans would probably favor a generic Republican over Trump.

            2. There is no guarantee that Trump will continue to be popular 2 years from now, even in states where he won the primary, given that he now has to govern. He has a bunch of terrible, anti-conservative and anti-liberty policies that are probably going to have awful consequences — and can’t point to Hillary 2 years from now.

            3. Winning the primary is pointless if you lose the general (this is why the Dems want them to have to go on record for Trump).

      3. Forget it Gilmore, it’s proggie town. These are the same people that came up with the brilliant plan to have Obama put Garland on the Supreme Court while the senate is out of session. Which is both totally legal, and completley pointless.

    3. DU? They must be terrified at the prospect of Trump having access to those magic earthquake machines they sabotaged Hugo Chavez’s socialist utopia with.

      1. *Bush used to sabotage

  17. My read of the Electoral College is that it was a way, in general, to protect the smaller states from being tyrannized by one or two large states. Specifically, it was a way to assure the Delawares and Connecticuts they wouldn’t be signing on to dancing to Virginia’s tune. Now a days, it protects us from Californianite Tyranny and Oppression.

    1. Exactly. It’s a similar idea as having each state get 2 Senators.

    2. And this election is a perfect example of how the Electoral College was supposed to work. The majority of states voted for Trump. Hillary only won the popular vote because she won huge majorities in two large states, California and New York. The Electoral College was created to prevent one or two large states from tyrannizing the rest. And that is exactly what it did in this election. And the would be tyrants are not happy about it.

    3. I think of it as another expression of federalism. The people elect the legislature, the *states* elect the executive.

    4. “Now a days, it protects us from Californianite Tyranny and Oppression”

      Well its not doing a very good job of that (see outdoor smoking/vaping bans, college campus hate speech codes,…)

      1. It’s not a California thing, it’s an urban thing. For whatever reason, most cities have turned into little fiefdoms.

  18. “Like her or not, no elector could have a good-faith reason to vote against [Hillary Clinton] because of her qualifications.” (quoting Lessig)

    LOLOLOLOL

    “smaller states have absolutely no incentive to give up the influence afforded to them by the current system”

    Lawrence Longley, an opponent of the EC, pointed out how the system gives extra influence to the larger states.

    Other than Maine and Nebraska (not large states), every state has a winner take all system by which the winner gets *all* the electoral votes. Thus, winning a large state gives you more electoral votes than winning a small state.

    Of course, a large state can throw away that advantage by consistently and predictably voting for one party, so that its electoral votes aren’t worth competing for.

    But unlike Longley, I think that the large-state bias is a good thing. The small states have extra power through their equal representation in the Senate, and the EC balances that out.

    1. Like her or not, no elector could have a good-faith reason to vote against [Hillary Clinton] because of her qualifications

      Selective reasoning there.

      1. Well, Hillary is certainly over 35 and a U.S. citizen. Those are the only qualifications required I’m aware of.

        1. Have to have lived in country for the last 14 years.

    2. But smaller states have more electoral votes per person than large states do. The effects cancel out to some extent.

      Of course, a large state can throw away that advantage by consistently and predictably voting for one party, so that its electoral votes aren’t worth competing for.

      Pre-Trump, at least 45 states voted predictably for one party for the last couple of decades, so it’s hard for a large state NOT to do that. Trump was a weird GOP candidate which caused some reliably red states (and of course reliably blue states) to turn competitive.

      1. Yes and isn’t that how Democracies are supposed to work?

        1. Why is that relevant to a constitutional republic?

          1. Because a Constitutional Republic is a form of Democratic government. If you are going to be pedantic, know the meanings of the words you are trying to be pedantic about. We do not have a pure democracy. But we do have a representative democracy, which is a form of Democratic Government.

            And my point is relevant because the entire political system is set up on the assumption that people’s political interests and allegiances will shift from side to side as time goes on. If that doesn’t happen, the system doesn’t work very well or in some cases not at all.

            1. I actually agree, despite hating Trump.

              He came close to fucking up and turning GA, AZ, and UT blue, which would have more than cancelled winning in MI, WI, and PA.

              1. He won Georgia 51 to 45. To put that in context, Romney only won Georgia 53 to 45. Basically a couple of percent went third party. But Hillary did no better than Obama.

                He won Arizona 49 to 45. Romney won Arizona 53 to 44. Again, Hilary did no better and Trump just lost a couple of points to third parties. But it still wasn’t close.

                Utah was 45 to 27 with McMullin getting 21%. It wasn’t the 74 to 24 blowout Mormon Candidate Romney had, but it wasn’t close either.

                So no, Trump didn’t come close to flipping any of those states blue. Google is your friend in these matters.

                1. In AZ’s case, a 4-point spread is pretty close regardless of other factors, and is quite a shift from the 9-point spread the election before. But it’s also notable that the shift was from a major party to third parties, not from one major party to the other. That could still cost the Republicans the election if the trend continues, but such shifts have historically been temporary and the votes are more likely to “snap back” to Republicans than anything else in the future, presuming the voter composition and turnout dynamics of AZ don’t change substantially.

                  1. Arizona went from 9 points to four points. Four points is still a lot. But most of that change was a small increase in third parties not a switch to Democrats and that is important. As far as third parties go, it is doubtful they will get another chance like Trump versus Hillary. So you likely have seen the high water mark of third parties for a while.

  19. And don’t we have elections so that the public determines who is and is not “unfit to serve”?

  20. “…Sad Democrats and progressives, still looking for anyone and anything to blame besides their feckless candidate and the inept, celebrity-obsessed campaign she ran…”

    It’s still funny, especially Tony, here, sounding like he’s ready to hold his breath until he gets what mommy promised.

  21. Even if some of the Republican electors were faithless, I hope they wouldn’t be faithless enough to vote for Hillary. At most they should vote for some other non-Trump Republican, and the House of Representatives would make the final decision.

    The fact that the progs are going all-out and calling on the electors to anoint Hillary suggests that they aren’t so much trying to protect the country against a once-in-a-lifetime dangerous candidate, as they are trying to have their candidate win.

    1. I’m sure they’d be happy with a military coup and martial law if their guys were in charge of it.

      1. Well it’s cuz they are on the right side of history.

    2. The fact that the progs are going all-out and calling on the electors to anoint Hillary suggests that they aren’t so much trying to protect the country against a once-in-a-lifetime dangerous candidate….

      The once-in-a-lifetime dangerous candidate would be Hillary, bipolar at best and a psychopath at worst. Judging from reports of her election eve meltdown and previous examples of her temper tantrums, this country really dodged a bullet.

  22. So, electors in states like Texas or South Dakota should ignore the voters from their own states and instead vote for Hillary because that’s what voters in Los Angeles and New York City want? Heh, so much for making every vote count!

    It’s doubly funny given the recent news about voter fraud in Detroit. I wonder how much of Hillary’s advantage in the “popular” vote is due to imaginary people.

    1. A huge chunk of her popular vote came from California, which is a one party Democratic state. California is basically one giant Detroit. I would love to see Trump push for the Federal Election Commission to audit this entire election over the next couple of years. How could Progs object? We need to know if the Russians hacked it. I don’t think Progs would like that very much.

      1. Her national popular vote margin was a hair under 3mm. Her CA popular vote margin was 4.3mm.

        1. Take away New York and CA and she loses the popular vote by a pretty big margin. Hell, have those two states vote like other blue states instead of in a crazy Dem majority and she is lucky to win the popular vote at all.

          1. It’s hard to argue with a straight face that CA’s popular vote margin wouldn’t have changed if Republicans in CA had a reason to believe their votes would count. They faced a Senate race between two Democrats and no chance of affecting the Presidential election. Take one of those depressing factors away and turnout might look quite different; if people had known their votes would count nationally before the election was held, they’d have more reason to show up.

      2. “Whoa, dude! You’re only supposed to contest when the Republicans win!”

    2. The Michigan recount should be front page news. The Wayne county (Detroit) voting was very clearly corrupted. There really is a need for Republicans to get enough votes to beat the margin of fraud.

  23. Cokie Roberts actually did a decent piece on this on NPR.

    The best part is when she says that it was designed to protect minority voters from a tyranny of the majority and Innskeep (the host) says, “We’re not talking about racial minorities here, we’re talking about…” and Cokie cuts him off saying “Yes I’m talking about racial minorities here.” and goes on to point out that Barack won electoral votes because of black voters in swing states (that Hillary didn’t). She makes the exceedingly cogent point out that the Senate isn’t representative-ly democratic either.

    1. The best part is when she says that it was designed to protect minority voters from a tyranny of the majority and Innskeep (the host) says, “We’re not talking about racial minorities here, we’re talking about…” and Cokie cuts him off saying “Yes I’m talking about racial minorities here.”

      Of course, she’s completely wrong. The EC wasn’t “intended” to protect racial minorities at all. It may have had that effect in one or two recent elections, but that wasn’t its intent in the slightest.

      1. In theory, one could argue it was designed to protect any numerical minority, be it geographical, religious, or otherwise; in that sense she would be right.

        1. ++

  24. “The winner, by far, of the popular vote is the most qualified candidate for president in more than a generation.”

    Can this idea please fucking die already? The majority of her “career” has been Bill Clinton’s wife. Argle bargle!

    1. Hey, she got the gold in the “Coat-tail Riding” event, narrowly beating out Kamal Harris and the offspring of Pelosi and Feinstein.

      1. Hillary’s career:

        Governor’s wife
        President’s wife
        Do nothing Senator
        Inept Secretary of State

        Dem’s do seem to exist in some alternate reality.

        1. Hey, she can piss away other people’s money with the best of ’em! What other qualification is there?

        2. Now, now. She was also a practicing attorney for a few years.

          1. Maureen Dowd in the NYT (at Thanksgiving) made the point that winning the popular vote is Hillary’s “participation trophy”. Worth reading. It was still up on the most read list under the opinion link yesterday.

    2. That is the most idiotic thing. Nixon has been VP for 8 years and in the Congress before that. Ford has been VP and in the Congress for decades. Carter has been governor of a state. Reagan was a two term governor of California. Bush I had been in Congress, been head of the CIA and VP for 8 years. Clinton was a two term governor and had been a state AG. Bush II had been a two term governor of Texas.

      Every single one of them was more qualified than Hillary. The only President who was less qualified than those is of course Obama. If these clowns want to know why they lost, they might want to consider that insulting people’s intelligence by saying shit like this. They can’t actually believe that. It must be that they think everyone else is that stupid.

      1. But none of the people you mention had vaginas.

        1. Damnit, that made me laugh out loud for like two minutes.

      2. I hate to be picky John, but you only mentioned the winners. Lessig referred to “candidates,” so you also need to include Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Al Gore (long-serving members of Congress as well as former VPs), George McGovern, Bob Dole, John Kerry and John McCain (very long serving senators who held positions of senior leadership), Mitt Romney and Mike Dukasis (both governors). All of them also were more “qualified” than Hilary.

        1. Yes, all of them were. I can’t think of even a losing candidate other than Obama who wasn’t more qualified than Hillary and by a large margin.

          1. Obama was easily more qualified after his first term, of course. Anyone would be. Trump will be more qualified after *his* first.

        2. Funny to think – by those standards – the most qualified candidates in this election were on the LP ticket.

        3. Fuck, Gary “I’m too stoned to run a decent campaign” Johnson was more qualified than Hillary.

        4. Life spent in Congress not make one qualified.

          1. You will note that I put “qualified” in quotes. As far as I know, the only qualifications for the presidency are being a natural born citizen, being at least 35 years of age, having been a resident of the United States for at least fourteen years, and winning the majority of electoral votes.

          2. Think about a Hank Johnson Presidency. (OK, you can stop gibbering now.)

            Guam will not tip over on his watch!

            1. As a single issue voter…thats what i care about.

    3. I think it’s totally hilarious that they want Hillary’s time as First Lady to count in this calculation. Okay, so she knows which closet the White House Christmas decorations are stored in. She’s totally qualified!

      1. That “First Lady” stuff is annoying on it’s own. Jill Biden is the Second Lady, you know. I wonder if they have all the wives succession defined. Ryan’s wife is third lady, Hatch’s is fourth,…..Is Tereza Heinz fifth lady.

        1. LOL that reminds me of a silly Irving Wallace novel I read a long time ago, called Second Lady. (I was in the Navy, stuck aboard a ship on deployment so we all passed around whatever books we had brought along. This one was popular even though it was chick lit, because it had a lot of fuck scenes in it. We didn’t have the internet in those days!) The plot was basically that the KGB kidnapped the First Lady and replaced her with a KGB spy who was the exact spitting image of the First Lady.

          It would be marvelously funny to slip a copy of that novel into DNC headquarters. I’ll bet within a couple of days the Washington Post would be running stories about how the FSB had replaced Melania with a lookalike spy…

      2. To paraphrase the immortal words (of I don’t remember whom) : That was no lady – that was Bill Clinton’s wife.

  25. “Colorado’s nine electors must vote for Hillary Clinton because she won the state’s popular vote, a judge ruled Tuesday, effectively stopping the state’s electors from joining a longshot effort to unite with Republicans behind a compromise presidential candidate other than Donald Trump.”
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/…..&ocid=iehp

    Slimebag losers lose again.

    1. Was Bill Kristol’s minion behind that? For all of the talk of Russian influence, it is funny how no one ever mentions the most obvious way to undermine public faith in the government, third parties. If I were working for Putin and had the job of fucking with the United States, I would fund third parties in hopes of them throwing the election to the House. The country would be loath to accept a candidate elected by the House, Constitution or no.

      There was at least on third party candidate whose stated goal was to do just that. I wonder where McMullin got his money?

      1. “The country would be loath to accept a candidate elected by the House, Constitution or no.”

        Plenty of countries have the lower legislative house choose the head of state.

        I think it was Andy Jackson who helped put across the idea that a House election is OMG a Constitutional Crisis!

        1. Plenty of countries have the lower legislative house choose the head of state.

          But none of them are the US. And the country was loath to accept John Quincy Adams as President in 1824. They ended up sending Jackson back in 1828 by a large margin. And the country also was not happy about the result in 1876.

          1. As I said, I believe Jackson and his buddies helped promote the narrative that there’s something wrong with a House election.

            In fact, if I wanted to be snarky, I’d sayJackson set the pattern of Democratic sore-loser whining – see also 1860, 1876 and 2000.

            1. And since we are on the Hamilton theme, the 1800 election was the one where it took 36 ballots before Jefferson defeated Burr in the House — all because some elector forgot to not vote for Burr in the first round as had been the custom. Brought the 12th Amendment into being.

      2. The country would be loath to accept a candidate elected by the House, Constitution or no.

        This year would be an exception, given how much most people hated both candidates. If they put a respected centrist on the House ballot as a third option, I think the people would prefer that option.

        1. Some would. But a whole lot would not have. Do you think these people would have been happy? I don’t. And maybe you missed it but 14 million people voted for Trump in the GOP primary. I doubt they would have been happy to accept the Jeb unity ticket.

          1. I’m not talking about Jeb Bush. Somebody like Mike Bloomberg or Jim Webb.

            14 million people voted for Trump in the GOP primary.

            Including a lot of Democrats voting for the weakest candidate to assure a Hillary victory.

            1. Including a lot of Democrats voting for the weakest candidate to assure a Hillary victory a lifelong Democrat who wasn’t publicly professing far left positions.

              FTFY — no doubt there were some crossover votes to “spoil” the election but there is a nontrivial number of people whose votes generally lay with Democrats, or who were infrequent voters, in the past who “sincerely” supported Trump and wanted to see him win.

            2. There is zero chance that they will select anyone other than a DC establishment shitbag, which is going to piss populists from both parties off. “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” would go from dark humor to sincere belief, and that would make it much easier to justify changing things by non-electoral means.

            3. Including a lot of Democrats voting for the weakest candidate to assure a Hillary victory.

              That is a myth. Show me any evidence of that being true because I have never seen it. Beyond that, those people would not have been happy with Jeb either.

            4. Including a lot of Democrats voting for the weakest candidate to assure a Hillary victory

              Well that shit sure backfired on them, didn’t it?

              1. Not really — Hillary would have lost even bigger to any other GOP candidate.

    2. Interesting. The enforcement mechanism is that the voter can be replaced if they vote the wrong way. That would open up the possibility of Congress refusing to accept the votes from that state, since the list of electors would be different from that originally submitted to them.

  26. For future elections, each state should say that the candidate who wins the presidential election in that state designates that state’s electors.

    That would put paid to any faithless elector problem unless the candidates are really dumb in their appointments (not to be ruled out).

  27. At this point, I really think its time to cut off the two deep blue coastal urban arms (OR, WA, CA and the Northeast Boston-DC corridors, you can throw Chicago in there too). Let them govern themselves, raise taxes as high as they want to fund universal everything care, ban everything they find icky, and import their own electricity, water, and food from Europe or Canada, if they don’t want to import it from those evil red states. It would solve a lot of problems.

    1. Go back to federalism, you could do that. But you don’t want them becoming independent countries anymore than you would want your autistic and profoundly developmentally disabled 19 year old son living on his own. If California ever became an independent country, it would be bankrupt and likely a Chinese protectorate within a decade. That would create more headaches for the rest of the country than it does already.

      1. They would just keep printing more money and deny that there are any problems with the Progtopias they have created.

        1. Sure they would. And when the Chinese showed up to give them more of other people’s money in return for basing a few infantry divisions there and using the ports as naval bases, they would happily say yes.

          1. Not so sure about that. They would probably scream about China’s horrible environmental and human rights records, and then smile, say thank you, and take the money.

            1. Not so sure about that. They would probably scream about China’s horrible environmental and human rights records, and then smile, say thank you, and take the money.

              Since most of their media would be on the Chinese payroll, I doubt that. And since they would have no military, once the Chinese stationed troops there, they would be doing whatever the Chinese told them to do.

      2. I dunno bout that. California has a lot of resources, and landlocked countries (which is what Trumpistan would be if you slice off the coasts) are at a hell of a disadvantage in trade.

        1. Texas and the gulf Coast and SE don’t have any ports? I am pretty Trumpistan would do quite well especially after all of the capital and productive labor flooded out of California.

        2. South Carolina wouldn’t be part of “Trumpistan”? Even so, the Gulf coast is full of natural ports and artificial ones could be created pretty easily.

    2. If I were a billionaire, I would fund the Cascadia Independence Movement.

    3. But then the red states would flood them with guns, lightly-taxed cigarettes, lawn darts, and gas cans that actually work.

      1. “lawn darts, and gas cans that actually work.”

        You must be from Massachusetts.

  28. The recount in PA was tossed for ‘standing’, the Ds lost the two recounts in MI and WI, two court rulings have told the Ds to siddown and shuddup WRT corrupting the EC vote.
    My local rag is so much in the pocket of the GOP that I have to check around on page 8 to find these individual stories.
    There is little doubt the left is ethically fine with resorting to murder to get what they want.

    1. Honestly, with the way they’ve been acting, I would be fearful in any major dem hub that their violence and “protests” will morph into outright lynch mobs.

    2. Yes, the left has shown themselves to be…. whats the word….. right on the tip of my tongue……

      Oh yeah thats it …… FASCISTS!!

  29. The only way Lessig’s argument and those of people who agree with him doesn’t make sense is if you try to view it as people drawing a logical conclusion based on supporting evidence or reasoned principles. That’s all backwards. If you start from the presumption that Trump is scary and gross and the goal is to make Clinton president then you would start with whatever argument seems most likely to succeed and then just keep trying until something works. The things these people are putting forth aren’t scaffolding for a conclusion, they’re tools to achieve a goal.

  30. Funniest case scenario – faithless electors go with Clinton, secretaries of state say “screw that” and refuse to certify votes, neither candidate having a majority, it goes to Congress, Congress elects Trump. Let’s see the naked power grabs out in the open.

  31. Nobody had a problem with the electoral college when Obama was elected twice now all of a sudden we need an uprising.

    I want off this planet.

  32. I didn’t know California had legislation that it would vote with the national popular vote. My vote is now twice as useless as it was before this is why the state electoral college should be proportioned to the state vote count and nothing else other wise where is the soventry of the state. its rules like that that do end up allowing true authoritarians to run countries. We are fucked if more states fall in line

    1. Technically the compact has no effect until 50% + 1 electoral votes are part of it.

  33. This would be a fun scenario for the future:

    All the blue states ban together and pledge their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote, and get this agreement set up before 2020. Trump is fairly successful and popular as President, and as such wins the flyover states in masse AND wins the popular vote.’

    UNANINMOUS consent in the electoral college in 2020 for Trump!!!

    The liberals would be screaming in agony as they cast those votes.

    But that is the kind of debacle you call upon yourself with ideas as dumb as the ones Progressives think up….

  34. Question: exactly where in the Constitution is there any reference, or significance given to, the national popular vote for president?
    Answer: nowhere.

    The president is elected by the vote of electors who are appointed by each state “in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” The national popular vote totals are nothing more than somewhat-interesting factoids having no constitutional or legal relevance whatsoever.

    Further, as the text of the Constitution states, the Legislature of each state is free to determine the manner in which its electors are appointed. If the Legislature of a state decides that its electors are to be bound by the popular vote within that state, then the electors are so bound. Any other result would violate the plain text of Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 2, that I quoted the preceding paragraph.

    Lessig’s claim that the Constitution somehow requires electors to disregard what their states’ Legislatures have directed and to be bound by a national popular vote total mentioned nowhere in the Constitution is, in the words of the late Antonin Scalia, pure applesauce.

  35. The sharks have been circling this target for a while now and especially when Democrats lose:-)

    1/24/2013 Schumer Suggests ‘Electoral Reform’ As Way to ‘Lessen the Grip of the Tea Party’ – See more at http://cnsnews.com/news/articl…..hNEUk.dpuf

  36. Lying headline barely hedged in the article with descriptions of the Hamilton Electors’ goal to make R electors “flip to Clinton or deny Trump … by voting for another Republican.”
    The Hamilton Electors site, linked in the article, says their goal is to get a reasonable (i.e. not Trump) Republican in office and goes on to name Kasich, Romney, Rice, etc. Michael Baca said as much on NPR as well.

    Not that I support their effort or think it’s a good precedent; just don’t lie about it for clicks, Fisher.

  37. The more delegates that the dump Trump, the less legit is his ill-won presidency. Let’s see just how bad things get before he is ultimately impeached. which will happen, unless he suspends the constitution.

    1. Keep holding your breath

    2. How can your pants be on fire the same time as you’re wetting them like that? It’s something to behold.

  38. Forgive me if someone has already made this point – but I think it’s the democrats that have been benefiting from the electoral college. Those big populous blue states have zero reasons for conservatives to come out and vote. In California, democratic turnout exceeds the norm given party registration vs republicans. Why? Well, the presidential race was a forgone conclusion and the senate race had 2 democrats running against each other. If you suddenly had a popular vote election, _millions_ of republicans would find a reason to come out and vote, decimating the democrats popular vote lead. Combined with the enthusiasm gap in this election and that one state could have tilted the vote total for Trump. This discrepancy is more common and more pronounced in big blue coastal states, and it is not even close to offset by republican advantages in flyover country. Dems should be careful what they wish for. A popular vote election could shut them out of the presidency for many years to come.

    1. StaggerLee:

      “Those big populous blue states have zero reasons for conservatives to come out and vote. In California, democratic turnout exceeds the norm given party registration vs republicans. Why? Well, the presidential race was a forgone conclusion and the senate race had 2 democrats running against each other. If you suddenly had a popular vote election, _millions_ of republicans would find a reason to come out and vote, decimating the democrats popular vote lead.”

      I’m not so sure about your conclusion, but your point is a really good one.

      Regards, LC

    2. Actually, to be strictly accurate, the electoral college pushes it toward an even split between the two candidates by encouraging higher turnout in states with smaller margins.

      Which party in general benefits more from this effect I do not know. You’d have to get an idea of how many Texas Democrats and California republicans there are and compare.

  39. The electoral college was a compromise between those who wanted “the great unwashed” to prevail in a direct election and those who thought their “betters” should have a chance to overrule the idiots. The compromise seems to work well enough. Though today it is often difficult to ascertain who are the “unwashed” and who the “betters”.

    I struggled with my vote. I wanted to vote against Hillary. But “pick your fascist” didn’t appeal to me. Instead I voted my conscience. I voted Johnson/Weld.

    I guess I’m happy to see that the “pragmatists” put Trump in and Hillary/Bill out.

    In any event the amount of shrieking and hysteria one hears from the lefties, the more fun it is for some of us.

    1. In any event the amount of shrieking and hysteria one hears from the lefties, the more fun it is for some of us

      I’d pay money to see a video of Hillary’s unhinged meltdown on election eve. I could use a good laugh.

  40. And there’s nothing to offer the smaller states who would almost certainly be ignored entirely in a popular vote scenario.

    Why would they be ignored? Under a popular vote system, the people of every Congressional district in the country would be equally important to Presidential candidates, so they would not focus their attentions on a few “swing” states the way they do now.

    1. Pfft. You’d never see a Presidential candidate campaigning more than 100 miles from the coast, with the exception of a few inland metro areas like Chicago.

    2. The maths is not strong with this one.

  41. Ten states and D.C. . . . .have adopted legislation that would become binding if enough states to equal 270 electoral college votes join them to award their state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, even if their own state was won by a different candidate.

    Why wait? They don’t really care about the popular vote unless their candidate wins it.

  42. If they steal the election they will die.

  43. His scapegoating of so many Americans

    What you mean all the ones in the basket of deplorables? Oh, wait, no, that was Hillary Clinton…

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  45. I find it interesting that Mr. Lessig argues that Hillary is most qualified candidate. What, pray tell, qualifies her for that, her Russian reset, her flying the most miles as Secretary of State, her Benghazi. Fiasco, exactly what?

  46. Desperate Democrats would subvert the Constitution to deny Donald Drumpf the Oval Office.

    How would the Democrats be subverting the Constitution, Tony? Electors cast the ballots, and fewer than 270 Democratic electors will be voting.

    Even if an Electoral College coup were to take place,
    Whoa! COUP? By casting their votes.

    every state’s electoral votes have to be certified by that state’s secretary of state, and that person has the authority to simply disqualify the votes or refuse to certify the totals.Suppose that 37 Republican electors were to vote for Hillary or McMullin. Ths SoS can (according to you) disqualify those votes.

    Which… does not mean that he/she can cast those back for Drumpf.

    Look, Drump is the next POTUS. But this “Democrats are subverting the Constitution”? A Republican posing as a libertarian farting in his locked closet.

    1. Yeah i thought that was pretty stupid title. However a lot of the points (like having it both ways) were good.

    2. Well….since Dems are encouraging Electors to break the law in states where Electors are not allowed to “vote their conscience”, it is easy to call this a subversion of the Constitutional election process. States send Electors to vote in accordance with State law. Trying to bypass State law is unlawful. Since this is part of a constitutional process, would that not then also be “unconstitutional”.

  47. The only way the Trump does not become the next president is if he has a major health issue or dies.

    I doubt that even the most major scandal could keep him from taking office.

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  49. John Hospers and Tonie Nathan’s campaign shattered the patriarchy’s glass ceiling. But Roger MacBride’s electoral vote made pro-choice non-looters impossible to ignore. War was raging as Nixon’s National Socialist Moralists struggled for States’ Rights to lynch Planned Parenthood doctors. Within about a month of that electoral vote hitting the Federal Register, La Suprema Corte ruled that women, like blacks, should have individual rights after all. Roe v. Wade was the LP’s first major victory for enforcement of individual rights through spoiler votes.

  50. Is it legal to offer services of value in exchange for breaking the law?

    Can a baker offer to decorate free cakes in exchange for a person to vote for a particular candidate?

    Or to more closely reflect the professor’s offer of free legal services in exchange for a vote for Hillary, can a prostitute offer her services in exchange for a vote? Like Madonna for example?

    Aren’t there laws against that?

  51. Here that whistle and the sound of a train coming? That’s the Liberal Hurt Train, and it doesn’t have any stops.

  52. One of the most repulsive aspects of the left is how they think the rule of law doesn’t apply to them. Instead of doing the heavy lifting getting a law they disagree with changed, they just ignore any laws they disagree with. Either they are clueless or don’t care that the rule of law is imperative for a society that isn’t ruled by whim and force.

    1. What makes you think they wouldn’t love a society that was ruled by whim and force – as long as it was their whims and force?

  53. The National Popular Vote people, and the legislators in those 11 states need a refhesher course in civics. The Electoral College is not anti-democratic, it’s a different kind of democracy, suitable for our Federal Republic.

    We elect the President of the United States, not the President of 330 Million Americans. The office should be elected by the states, with popular input. But never a direct popular vote.

    If you abolish the Electoral College, you might as well abolish the States and become a unitary republic run from Washington.

  54. As with the recount folly, this Hamilton Elector nonsense is not intended or expected to succeed.

    There are 3 goals:

    – replay the 2000 myth of a stolen election
    – delegitimatize the Trump presidency from day 1
    – deflect attention from the venality and criminality of their weak candidate and their towering failed policies

    What is truly being exposed is the fact that the Democratic Party and the media remain joined at the hips. And I don’t mean the manner of “Siamese twins.”

    1. “Democratic Party and the media remain joined at the hips.”

      That would imply they were still largely separate. As Glenn Reynolds says, “just imagine the media as Dem operatives with bylines” and it all makes a lot more sense.

      The media and the DNC are one and the same.

  55. There are many ways of looking at this election, especially when it comes to the popular vote versus the electoral college. Hillary won California by over 4 million votes so, that means, she lost votes in the other 49 states because her total lead in popular votes was 2.8 million. Most people wouldn’t want California deciding every election, especially if you live in Montana, which has little chance of ever catching California in population.

  56. Advocating a Constitutional crisis because you don’t like the guy is pretty low even for Democrats. So the Democrats pull a temper tantrum and you want to give them their way. We have a Constitution and Electoral College designed to prevent the more populace states from overriding the others. When the constitution was written it was designed to prevent Virginia from overpowering all the other states from selecting the President. The voters put Electors in place to vote the way the people voted in their states. That should be honored not condemned or manipulated because you don’t like Trump.This is what I expect from the irresponsible left. The left is making the US a laughing stock.

  57. 306 Electors will decide that Trump is fit to serve. If Clinton was more fit, she would have more electors. But she didn’t win the states needed. We are the UNITED STATES, not the state of California.

  58. These Hillary Clinton supporters are ruining any chance that the Electoral College might do the right thing and deny Trump the Presidency. He is indeed unqualified. But HRC is not the answer, She lost. Get it over it! Our best possible chance would be to convince Hilary Clinton to support a responsible Republican like Evan McMullin, and then get the 37 or so GOP electors to go along with McMullin. There is not a snowballs chance in hell they are going to switch their vote to HRC.

  59. I don’t know about you guys, but if I and my state voted for one candidate and some other states voted for the opposition, I would be pissed if our electors voted for the choice of some other state. If this were to happen, we would be handing the lions share of the decision to California and New York. That would be idiocy. But, the great part would be: How do you enforce it?

  60. There is no need to enforce. If the Dems care abt womens’ rights they will slip Gary Johnson a half-dozen of their electoral votes instead of flushing them down the looter rathole of global warming data fraud. If they don’t, there’s your proof they want drug enforcers to shoot mexicans, blacks, hippies, kids and dogs (as in their platform). If the Dems want women to have individual rights, the LP can ensure those in exchange for the 5 electoral votes we stopped God’s Own Prohibitionists from getting in Colorado.
    The integrity of the democratic party’s commitment to freedom is about to be tested.

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  62. Trump got 2 million more votes than Romney (I initially thought he got less, but votes were being weeks after the election). Based on vote totals, he’s effectively the most successful GOP candidate in modern American history, and that’s with depressed turnout in red west coast states and millions of republicans defecting to Gary Johnson.

    Trump probably had a chance of beating her in the national vote total, or forge a virtual tie that’s close enough that dems wouldn’t much point in grumbling about the electoral college. Let’s say 2/3 of GJ’s vote went to Trump, and add some other NeverTrump and Mormons on top of that. He’ll come close.

    What’s disheartened the dems is that Latinos came out in force against Trump, and he trounced Clinton anyways. Some Latinos insist that Trump only that 19% of Latino vote. If that’s true, then that means Trump tapped into a huge well of undiscovered white voters who weren’t regular GOP voters. If he holds onto them and wins back most of NeverTrump, he’ll dominate the electoral college. It won’t matter one iota what CA does. No wonder the demo detest the electoral college now.

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